These 10 Study Hacks Will Change Your Life

March 17, 2016

 

Let’s face it: studying sucks. Whether you’re studying for a huge exam or a little quiz, buckling down to study and focus isn’t exactly at the top of your list of things to do. With a seemingly endless list of distractions, it’s not exactly easy to set everything aside and devote all of your attention to notes and books. And for whatever reason, no matter how hard you try, studying never gets easier. If you find yourself struggling to keep your eyes open and glued to the text, here are 10 hacks to help keep your studying game strong.

1. Use an online flashcard site, like Quizlet or Cram. Not only can you create your own cards and decks, you can find study materials through the community of premade flashcards. You’ll help yourself, help others, and find new ways to learn that you might not have thought of otherwise.

2. Looking for practice tests? Use Google, it’s your friend. Search “site:edu subject exam”, and you’ll find old exams from various schools and colleges made by actual teachers and professors. It’s a great way to practice, especially if you time yourself.

3. Take notes for yourself, for someone else. Okay, I know that sounds confusing. But what it really means is simple: when you take notes in class, pretend you’re actually taking them for someone else. That way, you’ll force yourself to be much clearer and organized. I mean, who wants to read your jumbled, half-paying-attention notes anyways?

4. Force yourself away from the internet. There are so many distractions out there (I’m talking to you, Reddit). Luckily, there are programs you can download that actually prevent you from visiting the sites you tell it to block. That way, even if you find yourself drifting, social media will be blocked. Don’t worry, it’s not permanent. You could never last without Instagram.

5. Use a new font. If you’re used to using Arial or Times New Roman, odds are, you’ll skim through what you’re reading. Use a font that’s a bit harder to read, preferably one that you don’t see as often. Sure, it might take you longer to actually read the text, but it will force you to actually read. Which is a good thing.

Yes, little man. We've all been there.
Yes, little man. We’ve all been there.

6. Write everything down, again. Sometimes, simply reading and studying isn’t enough. Writing down your material again can actually solidify the content in your brain, since you’ll have read it, written it down, and read it again to check. This especially helps with math and science formulas, history events and their dates, and, well, maybe it doesn’t help as much for English. Sorry, English majors.

7. Listen to relaxing music. A layer of soft music in the background can help you relax and focus, and helps way more than you might think. Give Tycho, Bonobo, or Hammock a try.

8. Take study review breaks. Ever feel like you’ve been studying for hours and hours on end? That’s probably because you have. Odds are, you’ve probably already lost some of that material, since you’re tired and losing focus. Take breaks every 30 minutes to review what you’ve learned. Whether you’re studying for the SAT or for your AP History test, taking breaks is a good thing. 

9. Talk to yourself. Yes, I’m being serious. No, you won’t sound crazy (well, you might). Speaking your material out loud, as if you’re teaching someone else, can actually be a great way to test yourself. If you stumble while talking, you probably need to review one more time.

10. Color code your work. It might be annoying to switch pens every 5 seconds, but it’s an easy way to stay organized while studying without having to shift everything around. Plus, it’ll look pretty cool.

If you’re just starting the application process, search through essays, stats, and advice answers from thousands of students that got in. Chat with a mentor to get personalized help with your college essays and applications. 

Sources: Buzzfeed, Kaplan, Exam Time

About The Author

Drew Evans
Drew Evans

​Drew is a content and social media guru. When he’s not working, he loves to photograph, play music, play sports, and travel. He is also weirdly obsessed with Thai food, Girl Scout cookies, and learning new languages (even though he’s not fluent in any). For any editorial ideas, contact info@admitsee.com.




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nten_nyiam
MIT ‘23


Accepted to MIT, CalTech, UChicago, Macaulay Honors

I am a technologically inclined person who likes puzzles, video games, tutoring, late night cramming, and helping others.
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Princeton ‘23


Accepted to Princeton, Columbia, Fordham, Indiana, NYU, UT Austin, UMich

Dancer with a hardcore business mind
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UT Austin ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, USC, UMich, Illinois, UT Austin, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSD, UCSB, U of Minnesota, Arizona, WVU, Cal Poly, San Jose State

I'm from the SF Bay Area, but I'm betraying my roots by attending The University of Texas at Austin as a chemical engineering major. I like music, science and eating!
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